Let’s not overthink this Yahoo thing, shall we?At a Fortune event in Silicon Valley Tuesday night, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave her first interview since taking the job. She told Pattie Sellers how she plans to build on Yahoo’s strengths to get the company growing again and make it relevant in mobile.
Here’s the key part of what Mayer said:
We have a terrific set of assets on the Web—all the things people want to do on their mobile phone. The interesting thing is when you look at what people want to do on their phone, it’s mail, weather, check stock quotes and news. That’s Yahoo’s business. This is a huge opportunity for us because we have the content and all the information people want on their phones.
That makes sense. But the challenge will be getting distribution.
When Apple first launched the iPhone in 2007, it didn’t allow developers to write apps, but it did include some built-in ones. A lot of those were from Yahoo—in the categories Mayer ticked off. The iPhone came with Yahoo Mail, a Yahoo-powered weather app, and stock quotes from Yahoo Finance. It still does, for that matter.
What Mayer will need to figure out is how to get distribution for those apps. Google has its own apps or services in most of those categories, as does Microsoft. So that makes Android and Windows Phone tough platforms to break into.
Apple has its hands full trying to catch up with Google Maps and doesn’t need to build a hodgepodge of Web information services. (Nor do we think it would be particularly good at it.)
So Mayer’s strategy points pretty solidly towards Cupertino.
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